Liquid-filled Flexible Micro Suction-Controller Array for Enhanced Robotic Object Manipulation

Satoshi Nishita, Hiroaki Onoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With the intent to enhance robotic manipulation, this paper describes a novel liquid-filled flexible micro suction-controller array (MISCA) for humanoid robotic hands that can hold curved or grooved surface objects. The proposed MISCA comprises 49 suction units arrayed in a 10 mm × 10mm area of flexible polydimethylsiloxane sheet. Each 1 mm diameter suction unit generates suction force independently. An incompressible working fluid (ethylene glycol) is injected or drained through microchannels in the MISCA using a syringe pump to control the suction force. In experiments, the proposed MISCA effectively generated suction forces of 0.96-1.54 N on flat surfaces, 0.43-0.63 N on cylindrical surfaces, and 0.60-0.83 N on spherical surfaces. In addition, the proposed MISCA was demonstrated to successfully manipulate a 75 g flat object (a watch), a 1-g grooved object (a yen coin), and a curved object (a tablet) using suction control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7835179
Pages (from-to)366-375
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr


  • Flexible
  • microfluidics
  • polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
  • robotic manipulation
  • suction devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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